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The Cliffs of Moher are really pretty. I just thought I’d start out with this fact. After countless pictures I’ve seen, the majestic movie scenes featuring the Cliffs of Moher, and seeing my friends and other people on social media post their iconic pictures of themselves at the cliffs, I finally got to go and here’s what I thought about my experience with Paddywagon Tours.
Paddywagon tour quick facts ~ based on experience from myself and others
- It’s a ~12-hour tour – wear your comfy shoes!
- You will be making stops along the way (we did 4 stops, not including the Cliffs of Moher).
- Be punctual, I have been told that the tour will leave without you, whether you’re running late to catch the bus at your pickup point, or you’re in the bathroom a minute too long at one of the stops, they will leave without you. Don’t risk it!
- The tour guide that we had was funny, talkative, and shared information about the different stops.
- Wear layers – Ireland likes to surprise you with rain even on sunny days.
- The tour starts at the time of your pickup, and that is dependent on which pickup stop you choose. It can vary between 7:30am-8:00am.
Purchasing the tickets
I was in Ireland last summer visiting one of my closest friends, and as we planned the itinerary for my week-long stay, one place I undoubtedly wanted to visit was the Cliffs of Moher. We purchased the tickets a couple of days before the trip day, and the site was relatively easy to use.
We selected our date, selected our fee, and chose our pick up point. Paddywagon Tours have various pickup points throughout Dublin. We decided to choose the O’Connell Street – “Discover Ireland” Office simply because it was super central and easy to get to. O’Connell Street is the main street in Dublin city center with all the shops and the monumental spire that a lot of Dubliners like to make fun of (seriously Google some of the nicknames they have for this spire ? ).
If you’re a student, definitely take advantage of the student fare (obviously) but just make sure to pack your student ID or some form of identification to prove your student status in case they check. For the price of 45 euros (~$50 USD), we got to take this tour which I think was worth it for the convenience of having a hop-on tour bus that literally takes you across the country, and makes a few pit stops in cute little towns and interesting points (more on this later!).
The bus ride and the journey
The tour starts reaaaalll early because there’s a lot to cover (it’s a ~12 hour day trip). If you get to your stop a couple of minutes before your pickup time, try to grab a coffee or black tea to wake up as much as you can so you can enjoy the views as you leave Dublin city center and go into the countryside. Remember though, try not to miss the bus! When your bus gets there, you won’t miss it. It literally says “Paddywagon” tours on the side and it has a leprechaun.
In the email confirmation, they tell you to keep that email handy as that is your ticket that will be checked. In the email, they share a couple of other important pieces of information, should traffic or road closures affect your pickup point.
Like I said, it’s a 12-hour trip, but that’s because it’s 5 total stops that you make. The Cliffs of Moher are on the other side of the country from Dublin.
After a couple of hours on the road, we made our first stop. We had arrived at the iconic gas station honoring former President Barack Obama. You may be asking yourself all the questions right now. Let me give you a brief rundown.
Obama has Irish heritage roots, but that’s not all. Obama is the only U.S president with roots tracing back to the small town of Moneygall. Moneygall is the location of this gas station.
“My name is Barack Obama, of the Moneygall O’bamas…I’ve come home to find the apostrophe that we lost somewhere along the way.”- Barack Obama when he visited his ancestor’s home during his presidential run. If you’re interested in learning more about this, click here to read a full article on it (after you read the rest of this post, of course ?)
After that fun, we got to stop at Bunratty Castle. It was a cute place with shops, and obviously, the castle, but nothing else really. It was also a super quick bathroom stop.
The Cliffs of Moher ?
After those 2 stops, we finally made it to the Cliffs of Moher and guys I mean…
The Cliffs of Moher
Click to see the seconds long video before you go on.
The Cliffs of Moher. The music. The sight. The feeling!! Guys, it was the most perfect setting, despite the cloudy weather, it was the freakin’ Cliffs of Moher!
I wish I could say that I was able to both see every angle of the Cliffs of Moher and have a moment of pure appreciation of the Cliffs, but we only had 2 hours. Now, you may think 2 hours are enough, but the Cliffs of Moher do stretch out quite a bit.
When you get there, it’s a bit of a walk to actually get to the beautiful scenery. You’ll see a bunch of other buses and people getting picked up and dropped off. You’re going to have to make your way through the parking lot, the gift shops and crowds of people. Then going up the steps, you’ll be met with a kid playing an accordion-type of instrument. No, but really, this kid was playing the tunes and was providing the perfect music as our eyes finally started to see the scene come together.
So rather than trying to see and walk as much as you can, I would recommend something else. Find a spot and stay there to take it in a bit. It’s an absolutely beautiful site that deserves a moment to look at and contemplate. That’s what I remember the most; the feeling of the chilly wind swirling around me from the Atlantic Ocean and breathing in the moment. The Cliffs of Moher are really all that they say it is; stunning, natural beauty, and it has quite a serene aspect to it. The way the waves crashed into the cliffs and the way the sky looked as you saw out into the distance was simply stunning.
And now, a small photographic recap of the first impressions at the Cliffs of Moher….
Waves crashing into the Cliffs of Moher
and then we had to go back, ugh ? . But nevertheless, I was extremely grateful for the experience (and photos lol). The Cliffs of Moher…so grateful to have seen them in person and have a moment here.
A couple more stops
After the majestic scene of the Cliffs of Moher and untangling my hair we were off to the next stop. We were in Galway, and we were taken through one of the most scenic coastal drives in Ireland according to the driver. The scenery was just ❤️. So much greenery – the contrast of the green countryside and the blue of the ocean and the quietness and stillness was so encapsulating. I could have stayed there for hours…
A bit of the scenic coastal drive
We stopped by what the tour guide called the baby Cliffs of Moher.
The Baby Cliffs of Moher
and then we went to lunch, which I didn’t take any photos of I realize because I was too hungry to take any photos or videos –sorry! I also didn’t document our last stop.
We returned to Dublin around 8pm, the time they said we would be back. We got off near the stop where we got picked up, and that was it. That was our trip to the Cliffs of Moher, which I recommend more than anything in Dublin or Ireland really, in general, to go see. It’s worth the time and money to go experience such natural beauty.
Overall takeaways from the Paddywagon tour itself
- Clean bus
- Driver was funny
- Comfortable bus ride
- Decent price
- The multiple stops along the coast
- Not really a con, but I would have been ok with skipping Bunratty Castle, and adding that time to spend at the Cliffs of Moher.
Honestly, I can’t really complain, I don’t have any other Cliffs of Moher tours to compare this one too. Nevertheless, here was my experience with this one. Maybe some others are better, or not. My biggest thing was wanting to spend more time at the Cliffs, but that’s pretty much it. Our driver was funny, but in the end, he started talking about politics and religion. At this point no one engaged in his conversation because everyone was so tired. It wasn’t offensive really, but it was kind of strange.
If you’ve gone to see the Cliffs of Moher, I would love to get your insight on what your experience was like! If you used Paddywagon tours or maybe another tour and if you liked the tour you went with. If you liked the videos and images that I featured on this post, check out my Instagram where I created a highlights folder called “Ireland ??” where you can see more of the beautiful sights.
Like I said, the Cliffs of Moher is a place that I humbly think you should go see. I think that Dublin is great and everything, but honestly, the natural scenery and greenery is where it’s at. It’s why they call Ireland the Emerald Isle, so go see it for yourself because you won’t regret it.